Environmental assessment: designating regulations and voluntary agreements
Projects not subject to the Environmental Assessment Act can be made subject to the act through a designating regulation or a voluntary agreement.
The Minister of the Environment Climate Change can recommend to Cabinet that a project be subject to the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. That recommendation depends on:
- nature of the project
- potential for significant environmental effects
- level of public interest
Anyone may submit a designation request to the Ministry of the Environment Climate Change asking that a project go through an Environmental Assessment process. The ministry assesses the merits of the request and may make a recommendation to the Minister.
A proposed designating regulation is then posted on the Environmental Registry for a minimum of 30 to 45 days for public consultation.
If approved, the proponent must submit a Terms of Reference and Environmental Assessment to the ministry for a decision before proceeding with the project.
Proponents may choose to voluntarily comply with the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act through an agreement with the ministry. This means the proponent must go through the Individual Environmental Assessment Process.
This is usually done when the proponent feels that the nature of the project and the level of public interest warrant an individual environmental assessment.